Comic Vine Review


Batman #31 - Zero Year: Savage City, Part Two


It’s time for Batman to challenge the Riddler, who has taken over Gotham City. The question is, is Batman ready?

The Good

It’s been great seeing the slow build this story has had. Along the way, we have seen so many cool things and moments. Most big comic book stories have an ambitious feeling but then suddenly end, often with a fizzle, with a feeling that it’s all being rushed. That isn’t the case with Zero Year. Granted, we’ve had two different story arcs within the main overall story. This has further allowed the story to be told the way Scott Snyder must have wanted it to be told.

With the Riddler in control of the savage Gotham City, it’s up to Batman to try to stop him. At this stage in his career, he’s not quite fully equipped to do it all on his own. There are multiple obstacles in his way and Batman is willing to seek assistance from others. Seeing their planning session adds to the overall feel of the caper they’re about to pull and it also allows Batman to lay out his plan, showing he has a solution to this problem.

As before, we get another flashback to young Bruce Wayne. Seeing the way Snyder interweaves moments from the past into this present allows us to get a glimpse into who Bruce was before he became Batman and after his parents were killed. These moments alone are full of insight and worth exploring.

Snyder also has shown the evolution of Riddler. This is a man who has all of Gotham at his mercy. As Batman prepares for this confrontation, despite the smaller scale of Batman’s arsenal and tactics, you immediately get a feeling that this is going to be pretty epic.

As always, Greg Capullo’s art, Danny Miki’s inks, and FCO Plascencia’s colors make this a treat to look at. Capullo’s character designs all have a nice solid feel to them. They all look grandiose on each page. Each crisp panel is beautifully colored even though you wouldn’t expect a Batman comic to be so colorful. It fits the story perfectly.

The Bad

Nothing bad except for Bruce’s teacher in the flashback. What a jerk.

The Verdict

Some may feel Zero Year has been going on for too long. I couldn’t disagree more. Too often big comic stories have a rushed feeling but here, we’re getting to see all aspects of the story get built up and fleshed out. Too often Batman is shown to easily solve any problem. Getting the chance to see a younger Batman has been fascinating as we get to see the man and hero he will become. Scott Snyder’s story has kept me captivated month after month. The art team of Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, and FCO Plascencia makes everything look so dang good. I’ve wondered this before. How will they top this story next?

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Posted By mak13131313

I'm loving this!

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Posted By jayc1324

I am now realizing that I don't fully understand the math problem Bruce had to solve in the flashback.

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Posted By detective38

Frank Miller origin > Snyder origin

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Posted By Owie

I think Capullo is just getting better and better, myself.

I thought this was a pretty good issue, story-wise, although somehow it didn't quite have the impact on me that some of the previous issues did. I like these flashbacks into young Bruce's life, but honestly while the teacher was being a jerk, Bruce was too, and the burning zero seemed really over the top.

Also, I'd disagree with Batman's argument about what it takes to stand out as smart. He says that you ave to be affecting things to stand out as smart. But clearly there are many ways in this world of continual testing and so on for people to stand out as being smart in the abstract, and for other people or groups to pick up on that and give them opportunities to use it. This seems nitpicky but it was a weird argument.

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Posted By Brione

Batman #31 is one of the best single comics I've ever read. It is awesome! Zero Year has been incredible and I can't wait to read it all together when it's completed.

I don't get the people that are complaining that this story is taking too long. It's called Zero Yearso we all knew it was going to take at least a year to tell the story...

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Posted By Teerack

@teerack said:

What's going on in batman? I don't need like a super big explanation but like what's the next story they are working on? In terms of who batman is going up against? I kind of stopped reading it once Damian died.

Riddler Vs Batman.

Cool I'll have to catch up.

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Posted By dagmar_merrill

@teerack said:

What's going on in batman? I don't need like a super big explanation but like what's the next story they are working on? In terms of who batman is going up against? I kind of stopped reading it once Damian died.

Riddler Vs Batman.

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Posted By Teerack

What's going on in batman? I don't need like a super big explanation but like what's the next story they are working on? In terms of who batman is going up against? I kind of stopped reading it once Damian died.

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Posted By dagmar_merrill

Savage City is the only memorable part of Zero year. It's also the only good part.

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Posted By Fenderxx

I pretty sure Capullo loves drawing Batman fighting animals or punching them in the face. Don't get me wrong, I would buy a whole issue of Batman fighting lions, and tigers, and bears ..o my !

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Posted By feedonatreefrog

So many win moments in this.

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Posted By Jyger85

So today's Batman showed a teen Bruce Wayne getting through PTSD...Why don't we see THESE flashbacks more often? o.O

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Edited By derdc

Batman fought lions and Comm. Gordon jumped off the side of a building and landed in a flooded subway entrance. Loving Zero Year but seriously?!

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Posted By jayc1324

Lol why is everyone complaining about the lion scene?? That was awesome!!

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Edited By dkmark96


I think the fight with the lions could have been way better.

For example, the panel of batman facing the lion with the lighter left me expecting an epic-full-page explosion of Capullo goodness in the face of that poor lion.

And Batman tying the lion in the car? Come on Snyder!! You are better than that :)

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Posted By manwithoutshame

@nahuel: But they shouldn't really be speaking like common people should they? Everybody in that arc was either a scientist or genius scholar in some way or form, ah, comic books. To each his own, I meant no offense.

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Posted By Nahuel

@manwithoutshame: that it became a tiring reading for me means to you that I didn't comprehend what I was reading because I don't speak English fluently, or that Snyder should consider this because I'm complaining, then you're dead wrong. I was just writing why I didn't like that arc specifically.

And Capullo is a Master! I've been admiring him since Spawn, but, again, Dark City wasn't his best work. IMO

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Posted By manwithoutshame

@nahuel: First off, if Dr. Helfern doesn't make your skin crawl I don't know what will.

Also, I don't understand why you're being overly critical of something that by your own admission, you may not comprehend. Is it Scott Snyder's fault english is your second language and a certain amount of text frustrates you? Is that something that should be taken into account when he writes comics, no, of course not.

And as far as Capulllo's art goes, he's a master at the peak of his powers, IMO.

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Posted By -daydream-

this story is just like a cheap copy of No Man's Land, with nobody can leave the city or enter, cops working undercover, the look of the city and peope etc...thinking No Man's Land is still in continuity, and the fact that Batman is operating for 5 years, so Gotham will be rebuilt after Zero Year, and then collapse again in NML, and again will be rebuilt? it just doesnt make sense that a city has to be rebuilt year after year..

or maybe i am wrong that we are talking about a 5 year old time scale?

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Edited By Dernman

Zero Year put me off of Snyder as a Batman writer. Not a fan of the art either.

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Posted By Nahuel

@manwithoutshame: I didn't felt it horrific at all, but that's a problem of mine, because I can't find any horror comic horrific.

My problem was that Capullo Hyped his art so much in Twitter, but it was full of mishaps in every panel. The colors weren't the right colors for a Bat-book and even less for a horror story. I felt them totally out of place. And every issue was SO WORDY!

Normally I don't have any problem with that, but specially in Dark City, there were so many panels that in my mind shouldn't have lasted more than 5 seconds, but they were so full of texts and words that normally aren't used by the common people, that those panels took forever to read, and add to that the fact that English is not my native language, it became tiring.

@unkillable_deadpool1: I have to totally agree with you, those flashbacks were the highlights of Dark City.

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Posted By manwithoutshame

@nahuel: Dark City was my favorite part of Zero Year. I thought it was outstanding and horrific all at the same time.

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Edited By jayc1324

Zero Year just keeps getting better and better.

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Edited By Gracetrack

I pretty much agree with what has been said. This story has been a great, slow-building epic that is entirely localized in one specific book. We don't get enough of that, in my opinion. The first two parts in this epic were really quite a good build up, and this final part, Savage City, has been a fantastic payoff so far.

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Posted By Unkillable_Deadpool1

@nahuel: Have to agree about dark city, only thing I really loved was those flashbacks of Jim Gordon which showed GCPD's corruption.

Loved secret city and this one has started REALLY great , just hope it ends well ...

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Posted By Nahuel

I hated Dark City. Almost all of the issues of that arc felt boring, but Savage City is all kinds of awesome! Riddler is such an amazing foe, and seeing Batman this unprepared is something this book (and every Bat-book) was needing.

5 stars!

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Posted By GraniteSoldier

Really been enjoying Zero Year and especially Savage City. Riddler often seems difficult for writers to write effectively but Snyder has been doing a really good job with him.

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Posted By Saren

@ultimatesmfan: Yeah, but when he's just slapping Croc around without using any equipment, there's not really a difference.

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Edited By UltimateSMfan

@saren: Ah, but i'll argue that he's more equipped in those situations.

@g_man: Good point and Lol.

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Posted By Saren

@ultimatesmfan: @g_man: Guy wrestles with Killer Croc, you'd figure he could beat up a pair of lions.

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Posted By gmanfromheck

@ultimatesmfan: Maybe the lions are malnourished? Is Riddler making sure they're well fed?

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Posted By Saren

Wasn't really feeling the first two parts of this story, but Savage City is really good.

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Posted By UltimateSMfan

I liked this issue but im gonna be a little critical about some parts. That scene with Batman and the lion in the car and then him grappling with the other one from behind, pure PIS WIS. I mean come on its a freakin LION and bats doesn't even have half his gadgets..

And the resolution to the flashback with the professor, him just knowing that the O burned into his lawn was a zero and the "answer to his question" i couldn't believe that. Unless Bruce Wayne had some reputation for vandalism.

Otherwise, fine issue.

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Posted By iaconpoint

This is how new 52 should have begun.

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Posted By entropy_aegis

Finally an issue of Snyder's Batman that totally deserves 5 stars,heck the 2 issues prior were terrific as well.

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Posted By TobenRacicot

Zero Year is totally better then Death of the Family. And I think it is better than Court of Owls as well.

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Posted By Jphu8414

Man have I been loving Zero Year, I personally think it's been the best of Scott Snyder's New 52 Batman works